First Amendment News

U.S. Attorney pledges probe on attacks on media

Federal prosecutors are looking into assaults and threats on journalists during the January 6 attack on the Capitol and Congress. They are asking all members of the media to contact their office if they suffered attacks. Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin said, “We will spare no effort to bring to justice all those who committed lawless and violent acts of any kind, including against members of the media.” (The Washington Post, January 12, 2020,

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Twitter block on Trump: Troubling censorship or wise moderation?

Many Republicans on Twitter protested President Donald Trump’s removal from Twitter as censorship of conservatives. Democrats took the decision as a long overdue removal of irresponsible lies and view points from the platform. (The Guardian, January 9, 2020, by Lauren Aratani) Although Twitter is on solid First Amendment ground in suspending Trump’s account, some are concerned about the power that private companies wield in limiting speech. ACLU lawyer Kate Ruane, said, “President Trump can turn

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No First Amendment protection for Trump in impeachment fight

Law professor Ilya Somin in Reason, January 8, 2020, counters the argument that President Donald Trump can’t be impeached for inciting an insurrection because he was exercising his rights under the First Amendment. Somin concedes that it would be wrong to punish Trump with civil or criminal penalties but constitutionally valid to remove him from office for poor job performance. ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero says his organization agrees with Somin that free speech claims

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Reporters unprotected during Capitol siege

Supporters of President Donald Trump bashed equipment labeled Associated Press and smashed reporter’s cameras during their siege of the Capitol on Wednesday. Journalists were upset at the lack of protection in covering one of the most important events of the Trump presidency. (The New York Times, January 6, 2020, by Tiffany Hsu and Katie Robertson) Journalists covering the scene after the curfew that a few Trump supporters defied were detained along with the supporters. A

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Voting machine company files $1.3 billion defamation suit against Trump lawyer

Dominion Voting Systems sued President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, for spreading malicious and unfounded lies about the company. She claimed the company was founded with Venezuelan communist money to rig elections and that they stuffed the ballot box to boost President-elect Joe Biden. Powell’s lawyer said the lawsuit was intended to censor speech and keep the truth closeted. Dominion wants the case to go to trial to reveal the truth about the electoral process.

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